Fathers, Patriots, Grandfathers

"What seems vanished and gone with time's rapid pace is as fresh in the ears of Jehovah as the moment these spake."

BRAVERY never dies. Those who have fought and gone on before will forever be thought courageous. Whether the battle was won or lost, to the soldier who stood in the midst of it, we ascribe honor. Blood never dies. Though it may have sunk into the soil, may have dried and passed away over time, the running of it, that which caused it to flow, remains in our thinking.

Memories remain. Though we fight with them, raise them or lower them, the essence of those moments replays within us. We see ourselves there, theirselves there, and the weather and the emotion continues in our chest. We pass by that location and what it was, it is again, and we’re lost for a moment in it. Those we’ve loved, replay in our minds. Their actions, their choices, their words. Greater still, those words have the power to change, to mend and heal, to steal and destroy. In our remembering of them, we can dwell there and find solace or pain.

And to God in us, God with us, these hold a higher worth. Not to that which was broken, to what was misspoken, to the sin which crept in. Those are forgiven, melted away. But in the prayers of our forefathers, in their commitments, their faith, patriots, grandfathers, grandmothers, freed men, soldiers north and south, to those united when it ended, those who came from places far away, what seems vanished and gone with time’s rapid pace is as fresh in the ears of Jehovah as the moment these spake. He not only remembers the people, but He hears the words and will not turn aside. What He intended this place to be, what the people cried out to Him for, He holds up still until it comes to fulfillment.

Think of Isaiah, a prophet died thousands of years ago, yet many words he spoke still must come to fruition. Or to John, who saw Christ’s revelation on the isle of Patmos. He wrote the future as God laid it out, and we wait to see it come to pass and with it, God’s complete triumph. So, too, are covenants written over a land, which was unpossessed yet, and worship given on the shores, both east and west, and wars fought which the devil meant to divide us, drawing a line across a country on which God abides.

We see the chaos, the turmoil. We hear men’s evil words. We see their actions, their deceptions, and pray our own prayers, make our own declarations. We hold to the Bible’s promises to kings and the blessings we are promised for repentance from our wicked ways. And God who formed this nation, who shone His light across her mountains’ majesty, cradles in His loving hands, her past, her present, and her future, never altering one measure of it. As He is the same for all ages, so are we. He doesn’t rescind His callings. Even Israel, when carried away to Babylon, was promised freedom when the years had released. And God raised up Cyrus to fund their passage, then rebuilt the city and the temple. He dropped His truth in the hearts of the priest, Ezra, and the builder, Nehemiah. He surrounded them with willing men who carried a sword in one hand and building materials in the other.

Because deep in the soil lay the anointing of the people’s prayers, of victories won, of altars built. Of patriarchs and prophets’ declarations. And the Spirit who filled the tabernacle, who hovered over the mercy seat, who dwelt in the Holy of Holies, and gave visions of heaven to ordinary men, never lifted from His purpose, never altered from what had been promised to that land.

He remains here with us now. Our doubts blind us to Him, our hateful words clog our ears to His voice, but played within Him on repeat are those of hundreds, thousands, who heard His voice and did His will to give us what we have. There atop the mountain, there atop presidents’ faces, rests a throne, and He who sits upon it, wears a kingly robe and a glittering crown. For the people, that this republic and any people like her, will not perish from this earth. But He holds a scepter here, so that this King, which is alive and well, will honor we, which remain, with the answer that those who went ahead of us petitioned heaven for.

Photo by John Bakator at Unsplash

Suzanne D. Williams, Author